Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. To the biological dads, the adoptive dads, the foster dads, the stepdads, the spiritual dads, the godfathers, and the mentors: thank you for pushing into the younger generation and helping to form the dads of the future.
It has been one of my greatest joys to watch my husband father our boys.
When Matt and I first started dating I evaluated his potential out of purely selfish reasons. How did he make me feel? How did he treat me in front of others? What were his plans for the future and how would he provide for me? Did I trust him? How would we survive arguments? All my questions revolved around me and what was best for me. We dated, three years later got engaged, and one year after that got married. He passed my “husband material” checklist and we lived happily ever after.
What I did not have when we were dating was a “father material” checklist. Questions on this list might include: Does he want children? Does he like children? How does he handle sleep deprivation? How does he respond to loud, continuous noise? How strong is his gag reflex? Is he the kind of man you want your boys to grow up to be? Is he the kind of man you want your daughters to grow up to marry? Will he create a positive fatherly image for the kids to associate with their Heavenly Father?
God designed Matt to be a father of boys. He is loving and caring, rough and tumble, involved in their interests, puts their needs before his own, and most importantly, teaches them about Jesus. In our six years of parenting, I have noticed just how much our kids pick up by observation and imitation. This is the greatest area that God designed Matt to be a father of boys, in my opinion.
Matt is a very honorable man. He is a man of his word, reliable, trustworthy, hardworking, and always working towards self-improvement. He seeks to serve, always tries to do the right thing, and is a man of few words because he understands their value. Even though his job doesn’t always allow him to be physically present, he makes sure that our family time is prioritized and that we all know how much he loves and values us.
What kind of men do your children see, hear, and interact with regularly? What kind of ethics and values are being instilled in their hearts and minds? Do they see perseverance, endurance, and accomplishment? Or do they see laziness, idleness, and disappointment? Do they feel loved so that they know how to love others? Do they see respectable behaviors so they know what is worthy of respect? Do they hear kindness and hopefulness in their homes? Do they see their father leading their family and giving them a positive example to follow?
If I could go back and recreate my “marriage material” checklist, I would add one more point: Is he the kind of man I hope my boys grow up to be? Because actions speak louder than words. “Do as I do” is much more powerful than “do as a I say”. I am so thankful that my husband is such a strong and positive example of what a man, husband, and father should be. I can only hope and pray that my boys grow up to be men like their father.